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Analyzing our changes in consumption during the pandemic

by Merceditas Rios

It comes as no surprise to see that the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic easily outlasted its impact on the health and prosperity of those who contracted it. Regardless of age, gender, nationality, or social class, the sudden rise of national lockdowns caused all of humanity to find themselves within a situation they knew very little of.

The ignorance and misinformation given by our lack of knowledge of the changes led to panic, fear, and concern towards what our lives would become. Initially, due to these overnight mandatory restrictions to isolate, stay at home, and only leave the outside world under restricted hours for only the essential needs, there were major causes of stress and panic overbuying. Primarily, basic items such as toilet paper, canned goods, water, and articles for preventative measures (such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc) were repurchased for the fear of scarcity and desperation. There seemed to be an inexplicable urge to overcompensate on food and hygiene supplies since everyone was oblivious of the current situation and what it would ultimately lead to.

Many of the future rises of consuming and purchasing were through E-commerce, which became the most trustworthy method of purchasing. The E-commerce and digital industry boomed, raising the share of global trade from 17% to 19% in a year, according to UNCTAD. This was a reality that although helped to turn over the overall economic downturn, was not entirely possible to accomplish in all industries and locations. Digitalization was easily accessed by certain industries; others failed to do so, depending on their specialization, location, and approach towards the problem. Although this method did not guarantee the same levels of customer service and interaction, it did provide customers with a service that did not incite fear of spreading COVID-19. This meant that now individuals were able to order more products, constantly, and for fewer money levels of consumption and impulsivity. The economic crisis has disrupted everyone's lives, pushing many to the edge of financial, emotional, and economical decay, and created an overall global slowdown. It has not been able to decrease humanity’s constant demand for consumption and its dependence on industrialization.

Overall, COVID-19 has had a permanent impact on every aspect of our daily lives, from our education, jobs, and income into our very own routines, interests, and interactions within ourselves and others. Our dependence on technology devices, media, and online methods of entertainment flourished, as well as our consumption habits.

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